Total Day Results 12 / 5-3-7
2021 Overall 679 679 / 244-249-281
Win % of Top Pick 35.94%
Payoff% of Top 3 Picks Overall 38.00%
2021 Top Pick in the Money Overall — 432-679 63.62%
2021 Top Selection ITM / CD 41-63 65.08%
2021 Top Selections Win / CD 26-63 41.27%
“Key Horses” @ CD 7 / 5-0-0 71.43% Win / 71.43% ITM
“Key Horses” in 2021 105 / 47-23-7 44.76% Win / 73.33% ITM

We are back on Thursday night for the first live racing at Churchill Downs since the hangover of KY Derby 147. Post time at the big oval is 5 p.m. ET. We have an 8-race card on tap, and we are hoping that we will have a few winners dot the plate.

Here’s our looks:

1st: 5-3-2/6/1…Jettin Out (5) gets the nod in the lid-lifter in the Thursday twilight card. This 4YO, Florida-bred gelding is dropping another link in the claiming chain after running a near-miss 2nd last time out at Hawthorne Park in Chicago. Made he lead late in that one, but faltered at the wire to a horse that has come right back to win again. Barn has won with .32% of the last 88 starts and  brings down a rider from Chi-town to make the mount. (Unless there is a rider change later this week.) In 9 career starts, this one has 2 wins and 4 seconds. Consistent sort. Can Imagine (3) goes for trainer James Baker, who is recognized as one of the best non-recognized trainers in the game today. Has won with .11% of the 27 starters this year. This one is working well for the first race since March 25 at the Fair Grounds. Had a chance in that one, too. In 5 starts here? Just one second on the resume. Hmmm. Midnight Patriot (2) will make the 2021 debut here. Has been away from the starting gate since winning here on Nov. 4 last Fall. Barn wins with .22% of the last 23 to comeback from a layoff this long. Has been training OK for the return, and picks up a veteran rider for the saddle job. Threat. I bet the 5-2 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 6-1 in two smaller units.

2nd: 4-3-5/8/2-6/1…Golden Spoke (4) will be dropping to a career low price tag here and will add the blinkers for t he first time, too. Barn wins with .14% of those adding the shades for the first time, and with .10% in the MCL ranks. Top rider returns to the saddle and this one could be a real tough out at the shorter distance. My pick. Maximum Risk (3) is a 3YO son of Hard Spun and owned by the same folks that brought you the likes of Maximum Security. This one will make the career debut here for the owner-breeder. Dam of this one has 1 winner from 1 starter. Working good for the opener. Interesting price level for the first-timer. Brother Aaron (5) has raced here 5 times for trainer Dale Romans. Has only 1 second to show for the efforts. Will be making the 2021 debut, too. Barn wins with .13% off the layup. Works for the return are OK. Like the rider choice. Always tries. I bet the 4 to win/place/show  and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 8 in two smaller units.

3rd: (8)/1/3-2-4/5-7-6…This is the first turf event of the night and it will be contested at the sprint distance of just 5 furlongs. I will go with the one horse entered her for the “Main Track Only” — Stage Left (8) — if this one is washed off the sod and moved to the main track. You know how much I love the horse if I am willing to take rider Robby Albarado along for the ride. The guy is like 3-for-ever since winning the 2020 Preakness Stakes with the filly Swiss Skydiver. But this horse should be able to factor big in the 2021 debut if this one is moved from the turf. If it stays on the sod? Searing Chase (1) gets the top spot if this stays on the grass. This 5YO gelded son of Uncle Mo has the speed to move first and hold the position. Should benefit most, though, by the jockey change. Gets a class rider in the saddle. Look out for this barn operation, which flies under the radar. I bet the 8 if the race is moved to the dirt. If not, I will bet the 1 to win/place/show. I will key the 1 over/under all the numbers in the exactas. I will go harder on the 3-2-4 than the rest. 

4th: 5-6-4/1/7/3-8/2-9…Teller to Sing (5) drops from the $30,000 level all the way to the $10,000 tag here. The barn is having a rather modest year, but the man knows how to train and how to find the winner’s circle, too. Gets a huge rider switch and the move to the dirt should help this one, too. Hot Dame (6) spit the bit last time out when racing two turns at KEE on April 11. Will get the Lasix for the 2nd time here, and the barn wins with .44% of those that fit that category. Drops two rungs in the claiming game, too, and the barn wins with .11% of those. Should fit better here. Chance. Out of Pocket (4) will make the first start over the dirt after two tries over the AW surface at Turfway Park. Could move up with this surface switch, and the barn wins with .18% of the last 11 to go from the AW to the dirt. Look for more here. Like this rider choice. I bet the 5-4 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exacta. I will key the top 3 over/under the 1-7 in two smaller units.

5th: 6-2/1-5-8/7-3/4…Well Done West (6) is my first “Key Play of the Day.” In this case, it will have to be “Key Play of the Night.” This 4YO son of Awesome Again will make the first start since running at Gulfstream Park on March 12. Ran a better-than-looks 3rd in that one off a near-year-long absence, and a very bumpy start. Returns here as a beaten favorite, too, and the barn wins with .24% of those. Trainer is having a super year. Winning at a .29% clip with the first 70 starts this year. Stretches out here and that may help. After all, broke the maiden going a mile. Look out here. Warrior in Chief (2) drops significantly here, too. This one has a distant 3rd and 4th in the two 2021 starts. Now, gets the plunge. Barn wins with .18% when moving to the claiming ranks for the first time. Change in riders has to help. Just has to. Look for huge improvement here. I bet the 6 to win/place/show and then box the 6-2 in the exactas. Sternly. I will key the 6-2 over/under the 1-5-8-7-3-4 in two smaller units. More with the 1-5-8.

6th: 4-3/7-8-6/5-9/2-1/(10)…This is the 2nd turf event of the day/night doubleheader and I will saddle up with Cecile’s Chapter (4). This YUO filly was claimed last time out of the high-engine barn of Brad Cox. New barn operation wins with .15% on the first chance after the purchase. This one will be making the 2nd start off a layup, too, and the new barn wins with .20% of those. Gets a huge improvement in the saddle and this one does have a win in three previous tries over the sod. Look for better things on the grass. Gold for Kitten (3) is a daughter of Kitten’s Joy and should relish the move to the turf here. In previous try and only race to date, this one broke the maiden at Turfway Park in February. Came from well off the pace to get the job done in that one. Looks like this one is training well for the first chance against winners. Barn has gone 11-2-5 in the last 28 starts. I bet the 4-3 across the board and then box those two in the exactas. I will key the 4-3 over/under the 7-8-6-5-9 in two smaller units. Take note: if this one is moved off the grass, I will use the 10 in the first three mix.

7th: 7-3/1-2-6-7/8-9/4-5…Seascape (7) gets the nod here, for me. This 3YO daughter of Distorted Humor returns for a tag after nearly winning at this same level at KEE on April 14. That one was in the slop, but this gal is out of a Stakes winner, who has a winner from two starters. Look for a big move out of this one here. Has speed and can use it here. Barn wins with .11% in the second start at a route distance. Temper Mint Twist (3) is a 3YO daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, and this one cost a whopping $285,000 to purchase at the 2019 Fast-Tipton Sale at Saratoga. Has made 4 career starts, to date, and has earned a modest $10,420 in purses. Drops into the claiming ranks for the first time here, and the bar wins with .20% of the last 15 of those kind. In the PPs, this one looks like a plodder. Just a plodder. I bet the 7 to win/place/show and then box the 7-3 in the exactas. I will key the 7 over/under the rest of the numbers in two smaller units. More with the 3-1-2-6-7 than the rest.

8th: 1-10-6/8-2/7-3-5-4…This night’s finale is a 11/8-mile contest over the turf. Post time is set for 8:23 p.m. Not bad. I will go with my first “Upset Special of the Night” in this spot. Oceans Map (1) is the only horse in this field with 3 wins. Also has 2 seconds and 2 thirds to add to that mix. Comes in here off two nice ones in a row, too, at Gulfstream Park. Gets a good turf rider, normally, in the irons. In 11 sod chances so far? Has a 3-2-2 mark. Can come late. Can stalk and pounce. I just like this one. A lot. Attorney Tim (10) has just one win in the first 15 career starts. Not good. But he has 4 seconds and another third and has hit the board in 6 of 15 — all on the grass. Not bad. Gets a big rider switch here and could be finishing with a stronger belt. Deep, deep closer needs some racing room and luck. Can the new rider find both? Toma Todo (6) is another possible longshot here. This one has run 2nd in two of the last three and has hit the board in 4 of 6 tries on the sod, to date. Gets a top grass rider up. Not to be dismissed. I bet the 1-10 across the board and then box the top 3 in the exactas. I will key the top 3 numbers over/under the 8-2 in two smaller units. I will also key the 1 over/under all the numbers listed in two smaller units, as well.

Good Luck & All the Best / Gene